- What is an Ultrasound Technician?
- The Different Types of Ultrasound Technician Programs
- How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Technician Program
- The Admission Process for Ultrasound Technician Programs
- The Coursework for Ultrasound Technician Programs
- The Clinical Internship for Ultrasound Technician Programs
- The Certification Exam for Ultrasound Technician Programs
- The Career Outlook for Ultrasound Technician Programs
How to Get an Ultrasound Tech Certificate in 10 Easy Steps – An ultrasound tech certificate can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time. Here are 10 easy steps to follow to get your certificate and start working.
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Ultrasound techs, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, use ultrasound machines to take pictures of patients’ internal organs. The pictures are then interpreted by a physician to make a diagnosis. Although most ultrasound techs work in hospitals, some work in private medical offices, and a small number work in other settings such as research laboratories. To become an ultrasound tech, you must complete a certificate or associate degree program in diagnostic medical sonography and obtain certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
What is an Ultrasound Technician?
An Ultrasound Technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who uses special equipment to create images (sonograms) of the inside of the body. These images are then used by physicians to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
Ultrasound Technician responsibilities include:
-Operating ultrasound machines to produce images of patients’ internal organs
-Explaining procedures to patients and providing them with support and reassurance
-Working with physicians to provide them with the information they need to make diagnoses
-Maintaining equipment and keeping accurate records
To become an Ultrasound Technician, most states require completion of an accredited training program and passing of a national certification exam.
The Different Types of Ultrasound Technician Programs
sonography programs leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree are available at many community colleges, technical schools, and 4-year colleges and universities. Most ultrasound technician programs include both didactic (classroom) and clinical instruction. Some programs offer distance learning options that allow students to complete didactic coursework online and fulfill clinical education requirements at hospitals or other off-campus locations.
The type of program you choose will largely depend on your current educational background and career goals. If you already have a 2-year or 4-year degree in another health care field, you may want to consider a certificate or 1-year diploma program in diagnostic medical sonography so that you can begin working as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you are just beginning your college education or you want the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree along with your credential, you may want to consider a 4-year degree program in diagnostic medical sonography.
Certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography typically take about 1 year to complete and often lead directly into employment. These programs typically include didactic coursework in anatomy and physiology, cross-sectional anatomy, pathophysiology, physics, and general diagnostic sonographic procedures. Students also fulfill clinical education requirements by completing hands-on training at hospitals or other off-campus health care facilities.
Diploma programs in diagnostic medical sonography also usually take about 1 year to complete but may require 2 or more years for students who need to fulfill prerequisites prior to beginning the professional portion of the program. In addition to the courses listed above for certificate programs, diploma programs may also include coursework in patient care and basic medical terminology.
Bachelor’s degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography generally take 4 years to complete and prepare graduates for management positions or advanced clinical roles such as research or teaching. In addition to the courses required for certificate and diploma programs, bachelor’s degree programs include coursework in advanced physics, mathematics, computer applications, ethics, management principles, leadership skills, quality assurance, research methods, and **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
How to Choose the Right Ultrasound Technician Program
Choosing the right ultrasound technician program is an important first step in beginning your career in diagnostic medical sonography. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you research programs:
-First and foremost, make sure the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This accreditation is essential in order to sit for the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) exam, which is required for certification.
-Secondly, consider the format of the program. Are you looking for a traditional classroom setting or would you prefer an online program?
-Thirdly, think about what type of schedule will fit best with your lifestyle. Are you looking for a full-time or part-time program?
-Finally, research the job placement rates for graduates of the program. Many schools will list this information on their websites.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a few accredited programs that fit your needs, take some time to reach out to current students and graduates to get their insights. Once you have all of the information you need, you will be ready to choose the ultrasound technician program that is right for you!
The Admission Process for Ultrasound Technician Programs
Admission to an ultrasound technician program may be open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. However, prior healthcare experience, such as working as a certified nurse assistant (CNA), may be required or preferred. Admission requirements vary depending on the school, so it’s important that you research the programs you’re interested in to make sure you meet their requirements.
Once you’ve been accepted into an ultrasound tech program, you’ll complete coursework and clinical rotations in order to earn your certificate or degree. The length of the program will depend on the level of education you’re pursuing. Certificate programs typically take one year to complete, while associate’s degree programs take two years.
Bachelor’s degree programs in diagnostic medical sonography are also available, but they are less common. These programs typically take four years to complete and may prepare you for management positions or for working in research settings.
The Coursework for Ultrasound Technician Programs
In order to become an ultrasound technician, you will need to complete an accredited program. These programs are available at many community colleges, technical schools and universities. The length of the program will depend on the level of certification you wish to achieve.
Most certificate programs can be completed in one year, while associate’s degree programs take two years to finish. If you are interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography, you will need to complete a four-year program.
The coursework for ultrasound technician programs typically includes general education requirements as well as courses specific to diagnostic medical sonography. The specific courses you take will depend on the program you choose, but may include topics such as:
-Anatomy and physiology
The Clinical Internship for Ultrasound Technician Programs
In order to be eligible to take the ARDMS certification exams, you must have completed an accredited diagnostic medical sonography program. Once you have completed your educational requirements, the next step is to find a clinical internship. An internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting, under the supervision of experienced ultrasound professionals.
There are several ways to find an ultrasound tech clinical internship. Your school’s career center may have a list of local ultrasound facilities that offer internships. You can also search online job boards or contact ultrasound facilities directly.
When applying for an internship, be sure to emphasize your clinical skills and training. Include a copy of your transcripts and any relevant coursework in your application packet. Most internships are paid positions, so be prepared to negotiate salary and benefits during the interview process.
Once you have secured an internship, the next step is to complete the required number of clinical hours. Most accredited programs require students to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical training before they can sit for the ARDMS exams. Clinical hours must be completed at an accredited facility, under the supervision of a licensed physician or certified sonographer.
After you have completed your clinical training, you will be eligible to take the ARDMS certification exams. These exams are administered by computer at testing centers around the country. The exams are not easy, but with hard work and dedication, you can become a certified ultrasound technician!
The Certification Exam for Ultrasound Technician Programs
The certification exam for ultrasound technician programs is administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The ARDMS was founded in 1975 and is recognized as the world leader in diagnostic medical sonography certification. To be eligible to sit for the certification exam, you must have graduated from an accredited ultrasound technician program. The ARDMS offers two types of examinations: the Sonographic Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination and a clinical examinations. You must pass both examinations to earn your credential.
The SPI examination is a computer-based test that covers topics such as patient care, safety and infection control, basic physics of medical imaging, imaging artifacts, and cross-sectional anatomy. The clinical examination is a hands-on test that evaluates your ability to perform various ultrasound procedures on patients. You will be required to demonstrate your skills in abdominal, gynecologic, obstetric, small parts, and vascular scanning.
The Career Outlook for Ultrasound Technician Programs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of diagnostic medical sonographers will grow 14% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population is expected to lead to an increase in the demand for diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasounds, to detect health problems at an early stage.
As of May 2019, ultrasound technicians earned a median annual wage of $71,750. The highest 10% earned more than $97,280, while the lowest 10% earned less than $48,760.
Most ultrasound technicians work full time. Some sonographers may have evening or weekend shifts, and some may be on call.